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Bahrain-GCC trade creates value of USD5.7bn in 2020


Trade between Bahrain and the GCC has reaped USD5.7 billion in 2020, accounting for 25% of Bahrain’s global bilateral trade for the year (USD20.8 billion).

The figures were released at the same time as Bahrain’s Information and eGovernment Authority quarterly foreign trade report, identifying a 12% surge in national origin exports buoyed by a thriving manufacturing sector.

Home to national and multinational manufacturing and logistics giants including Alba, Mondelez, Reckitt Benckiser and DHL, Bahrain offers a US FTA and direct access to the GCC’s largest consumer market – Saudi Arabia.

During the fourth quarter, the value of exports of national origin increased by 12% to USD1.59 billion (BHD599 million), compared to USD1.41 billion (BD532 million) for the same quarter of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the country’s trade balance – the difference between exports and imports – improved by 18% in Q4, recording a deficit of USD1.16 billion (BHD435 million) compared to USD1.41 billion (BHD530 million) in the same quarter of the previous year.

The top 10 countries in terms of the value of exports of national origin purchased from Bahrain accounted for 72% of the total value, with the remaining countries accounting for 28%.

Ali Al Mudaifa, Executive Director – Investment Origination at Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “As well as unparalleled access to GCC markets, manufacturers in Bahrain enjoy duty free trade through FTAs with 22 countries around the world, including the first ever US FTA with a GCC member – a critical market for midstream and downstream aluminium companies.

“Bahrain’s national manufacturer, Alba, is the largest single-site smelter in the world outside of China, producing at full capacity more than 2% of global output of an increasingly important metal

“With aluminium products featuring among our top exports during Q4 of 2020, it is clear that our economic diversification efforts in this area are paying off.”

During the fourth quarter of 2020, the value of imports decreased by 7%, reaching USD3.17 billion (BHD1.191 billion) compared to USD3.41 billion (BHD1.282 billion) for the same quarter of the previous year.

Saudi Arabia ranked first among countries receiving Bahraini exports of national origin, importing USD337 million (BHD127 million). Meanwhile, the US was second with USD138 million (BHD52 million) and UAE third with USD135 million (BHD51 million).

Unwrought aluminum alloys emerged as the top products exported from Bahrain during fourth quarter 2020, Agglomerated iron ores and concentrates alloyed was second, and unwrought aluminum (not alloyed) third.

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